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Positive Q1 figures for AstraZeneca

High sales of cholesterol drug Crestor and an increase in sales in emerging markets have contributed to AstraZeneca's positive results for Q1

High sales of cholesterol drug Crestor and an increase in sales in emerging markets have contributed to AstraZeneca's positive results for Q1.

US sales of Crestor, the only branded statin to gain market share, reached $478m in Q1 – an increase of 35 per cent on last year.

Overall sales in the US increased by 7 per cent compared with the same period last year. US figures benefited from a 175 per cent increase in sales of hypertension and heart disease drug, Toprol-XL, after two generic competitors withdrew their products from the market.

Sales of asthma drug, Symbicort increased in all markets globally, while sales of Pulmicort were down 37 per cent in the US. The impact on sales of Pulmicort Respules that can be attributed to Teva's generic budesonide inhalation suspension product was lower than expected.

Core operating profit at AstraZeneca for the quarter was $3.362m (an increase of 19 per cent). This was the result of sales growth and operational efficiencies, as well as income from an agreement to return co-promotional rights for Abraxane to Abraxis BioScience.

David Brennan, CEO said: "Our business has proved to be resilient in the first quarter, the result of excellent execution in driving growth in key product franchises and in all regions, whilst delivering improvements in operating efficiency." He went on to say that the company's full-year target remains unchanged, a reflection of AstraZeneca's caution about global economic conditions.

30th April 2009

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